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Despite Being Half Of The World Population, Women Are Still A Minority!

December 18, 2022 | by Janvi Manchanda

On December 18, 1992, the United Nations adopted the statement of rights of an individual belonging to a Religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minority. Since that day, December 18 is annually observed as Minority Rights Day. But I strongly believe that one doesn’t have to be a minority to be called a minority. Sometimes you can be a minority despite being a majority. Take us women for example. We’re nearly one-half of the world’s population and yet we’re a minority because our society value’s one man’s word over that of many women. And we’ve seen that happen far too many times. So, this Minority Rights Day, let’s talk about women as a minority.

Minority Rights Day is all about upholding the right to freedom and equal opportunities for minorities and creating awareness about their rights as humans but as women, despite being one-half of the population, we’re still fighting for our rights to freedom and equal opportunities. Even with all the noise being made about women’s rights, we continue being undervalued and struggle to achieve personal liberty, security and bodily autonomy due to the violence committed against us within and outside our homes.

Take a look at what’s happening around us. In the US, women have been stripped of their right to abort and are being forced to carry a pregnancy to term even when they don’t want to. They’ve been stripped of their freedom to choose what they want to do with their bodies and their lives. The women of Afghanistan have been deprived of their right to education, to work and to even step out of their homes alone as per their will. Women of Iran are still being forced to follow a dress code which, of course, does not apply to men at all. In India, women are being forced to remove their hijab to seek education and women across the world are being raped, murdered and abused every single day. Chances are that by the time you finish reading this article, at least one woman across the globe would’ve been raped or killed or at least sexually abused and those are just facts.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: 7 Instances Where Women’s Rights Were Violated Without Remorse

As a society, we have failed to protect one-half of the population from being violated by the other half, let alone protect the rights of a minority community. Women are a minority despite being one-half of the population while men are a majority anyways. And it’s much worse when these men are successful, powerful and have money. That makes them an undisputed majority while women can be successful, powerful, rich and 50% of the population but we’re still not enough. Women’s voices are easily shut down as a whole but this is much worse when women are a minority within a minority community. We still do not have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as men who are the other 50% of the population and all this just because of gender.

Yes, we hear minorities and talk about their rights but what about the rights of women within a minority community? Sadly, their voices go unheard and no one talks about their rights. Women of minority communities continue battling gender-based violence and discrimination, and while women within the higher strata of society manage to escape a lot of gender discrimination, these women from minority communities have nowhere to go.

Source: Flickr

Also Read: 17 YO Raped By Father, Grandfather, And Uncle Reveals About The Trauma During A Sexual Harassment Session In College.

2022 marks 30 years of the UN Declaration of rights of minorities and the theme for Minorities Rights Day this year is “All in 4 Minority Rights”. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of minority representation and their voice for the proper functioning of democracies but where is women’s representation at today? 30 years after adopting this declaration, women’s representation continues to lack on all fronts. We continue being the disadvantaged gender in our society despite our major contribution to building it. Yes, the racial, national, religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities are discriminated against but women from within these minority groups have to fight a thousand times harder to deal with the internalised misogyny and the patriarchy which does not allow them to have a voice of their own.

Source: Flickr

So, this Minorities Rights Day, let’s vow to show some support for women within minority groups who continue being violated and whose voices have been silenced by patriarchal ideologies, violence and exploitation. Let’s try to welcome 2023 by giving a platform and voice to the women who are a minority within a minority.

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Janvi Manchanda

Janvi uses her pen to smash the patriarchy. Geet one day and Wednesday Addams the next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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